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6 Tips to Avoid Passing Your Own Anxiety On to Your Kids

I have an anxiety disorder, so I worry a lot—but mostly I worry about passing my anxiety disorder to my children.

A reposted article The LRJ Foundation finds meaningful to share from Parents.com, please find the original article, here.

New Mom Suffering From Anxiety
CREDIT: JGI/JAMIE GRILL/GETTY IMAGES

When my daughter was around two years of age, we were visiting relatives who lived in a high-rise apartment building. I’ve always been afraid of heights and have no desire to step out onto a balcony no matter how safe. The rational part of my brain reminded me that no one would get a building permit which included balconies prone to falls, so I never gave much thought to someone being in danger. I was aware my fear was irrational. But when my mother-in-law took my baby girl out onto the balcony, my heart rate increased rapidly, and I could hear the thumping. I felt faint and saw spots. I jumped up and demanded my husband grab her back inside.

Nearly a decade later, I feel the panic of that experience. I have to stop and take a few deep breaths. I know that there was no way she was in any danger: the wall was too high for her to climb, even if she had crawled up the chairs she still couldn’t have reached. And there were four competent adults with her. But in the moment, my brain convinced me that in spite of all rational evidence, my child was in imminent danger of plummeting to the pavement below. I was certain of it. I flashed forward to the news stories which would include every expert testifying how this shouldn’t have happened, but it did.